The Denver Art Museum is famous for its rich Asian collection full of distinguished artifacts. More than five thousand objects of this prominent collection are exhibited in twenty two thousand square feet of gallery space. The large-scale Asian art collection occupies the galleries on the fifth floor of the Denver Art Museums North Building and contains objects that extend back over six thousand years ("Asian Art"). A thirteenth century bronze statue of Shiva Nataraja, known as the Lord or King of Dance, is one of the museums oldest high-profile exhibits. It depicts one of the most important of Hindu deities, Shiva, as a divine dancer. Shiva is translated from Sanskrit as "auspicious god", which is one of the primary embodiments of God in Hinduism. According to the Hindu mythology Shiva must destroy the world as we know it to cause the awakening of Brahma, another influential Hindu God responsible for the recreation of the universe (Gruenwald, and Marchand). Hindus believe that everything that has a beginning must have an end. Thus, the statue of Shiva as a Lord of Dance is a bright illustration of this belief. They believe that Shiva is responsible for destruction of the illusions of individuality in the first place, thus Shivas dance has to be perceived as a catharsis for each and everyone.
The abovementioned statue of Shiva has its origins in Tamil Nadu Province of India and was created 1100s during the rule of the Chola dynasty, which was one of the most powerful and long-lasting dynasties in the history of southern India ("Asian Art"). During the rule of Chola dynasty a number of magnificent Shiva temples famous for its exuberant architecture were built in southern India and numerous sculptures and bronzes of Shiva were created (Gruenwald, and Marchand). The sculpture of Shiva Nataraja is probably one of the most sophisticated artworks of exquisite beauty